Feb. 10, 2010 Anyone remember sweet Rosie the Robot from The Jetsons cartoon? (If you’re not having a retro flashback there’s a 2012 live-action remake in development so you’ll no doubt hear about her soon)
Robotic maids and servile techno gizmos and conveniences have come a looooong way since Rosie…
From tacky Stepford-style sexism and objectification weirdness to the brilliance of youth innovation and the first ever annual National Robotics Week (coming up April 10-18)…it’s pretty easy to see how robotics and technology past, present and future are making an impact, for better AND for worse.
As we ramp up toward Valentine’s Day, evidently some will stumble into looking for love in all the wrong places, according to PCAdvisor who is bracing for an attack of the “flirt bots.” Flirt bots have made their first reappearance since 2007’s “cyberlover” malware spree, so be wary of amorous advances and flattering cam coaxing, kiddies. These nefarious netbots are Romeos of the worst kind, intelligent enough to custom tailor flirtatious responses, making it harder for even the most sophisticated, digitally active users to identify and avoid…
No big moral panic here on the kids’ media front, as the chat I’ve seen so far is less teen talk, and more along the lines of naive ‘porndogs’ sniffin’ out a fresh trail in the lonely hearts club…then again, these days, I suppose that could be an 11 year old, so heads up all around I guess…
Yep, that come hither IM with the smooth, sultry Jessica Rabbit style could easily be artificial intelligence…a super savvy flirt bot.
Wild, eh? Le sigh. Clearly digital lines are blurring into social engineering disguised as conversation…
PCTools’ spokesperson Richard Clooke said the bots were exploiting the MSN chat forums…
“…But generally it could be targeting any type of chat forum in order to make contact” so avoid clicking on links received through any instant messages, even the simplest “hey, how’s it goin’?” if you don’t know the sender.
Not sure how this type of AI contextual chat would play out on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter or inside virtual worlds, but with the level of marcom sophistication, phishing scams and Facebook quizzes, games and apps usurping personal info (show and tell video here from USAToday explaining how it all works) I figure it’s just a matter of time before ‘flirt bots’ hit the texting, mobile, and friend of a friend profile poseurs, right?
Not sure how this specific flirt bot works or which type of chat is most vulnerable, but security vendor PC Tools explained they’ve specifically:
“…identified programs that strike up a conversation with web users and then send them links to malicious websites.
….”These sites then aim to obtain credit card details, passwords and logins to a number of different online sites, or even convince users to purchase fake antivirus software.” –PC Tools
It’s no wonder we get reticent about so much “social sharing” trying to figure out the impact of ‘Google Buzz vs. Google Wave’ on privacy, all the tracking of keystrokes, serving of ads, behavioral targeting and location-based privacy issues…
More and more I feel like that old ad campaign ‘Is it live or is it Memorex?’ Or in this case, is it a buddy or is it a bot?
Makes me wanna leave all the bots and bods behind and go swing in a tropical hammock in Roatan where I can’t get a stable wireless signal to save myself…heh.
Our guest post today is about “Roxxxy the sex robot” by Teen Advocate Dan (on Twitter), a sharpshooter sex-ed champion from Chapel Hill, North Carolina (a high school junior) who writes for Amplify Your Voice.org a great site for youth & youth activists. (also aligned with Advocates for Youth)
Dan’s insightful, very REAL questions about objectification, sexuality, and futuristic digital spheres strikes the perfect humorous vs. heavy-handed tone to start thinking about where we’re headed and more importantly…why.
…Especially since this Roxxxy sex bot (at left) represents further evidence of female objectification in every nook and cranny of our pop culture media cacophony, imho.
This whole concept of programming synthetic skinned “Roxxxy the sexbot” with AI ‘personality’ (Frigid Farrah? Wild Wendy? Really, people? Seriously?) put me over the edge in surreal and creepy ‘yougawdabefreakinkiddingme’ mode…AND that was even BEFORE I heard about acting out rape fantasies in this ‘world’s first life-size robotic girlfriend.” Ugh.
I’m usually a ‘to each his/her own’ kinda gal, but this smacks of objectification in the same tenor as the ‘cyborg’ Heineken campaign I wrote about awhile back, taking it up a notch by turning it into reality (albeit a synthetic one)
“…I sure don’t want MY daughter perceived as a human coaster or a lap to rest a beer upon, much less have a mini-keg spring from her womb in servile cyborg style like this opportunistic objectification. Women positioned as “futuristic beer delivery systems?”
“Gee, yeah, let’s have this dancing darling gyrate to the pulsing beat of bump-n-grind cybernetic technophonics for man’s pleasure, then open her uterus to pop a cold one. No, they’re not ‘targeting’ kids, but they’re getting splashed in the backwash of behavioral messaging. Figure for every teen swigging alcopops and energy drinks in wannabe style, there’s another buying into the beer-n-babes positioning, taking cues from this Heineken ‘hiney’ messaging on how to treat, view and ogle females.”
So, yep. I’m glad DAN is taking on the ‘sex bot’ post…asking important questions like:
“Are we really shifting from real relationships to virtual ones with robots? I hope not, but I want to hear what others opinions are…” with classic, calm composure…which is more than I can muster on this one.
I’ll hush now. Here’s “DanDaMan” (that’s his Amplify byline) And a Stephen Colbert “must see” on the topic of this Roxxxy Robot thingamajig (PG-13ish advisory for video, article, subject matter, etc.)
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Roxxxy the Sex Robot|
My Thoughts On Sex Robots by Dan Jubelirer (published on Amplify Jan 12, 2010)
On last nights’ show, Colbert covered the invention of a sex robot that has touch sensors and the ability to download different personalities. (Note, the above video above is short and hilarious, please watch it. IF you cannot get the embedded video to work, you can watch the clip here). Because, as Colbert said,
When you’re talking about a sex robot, the first question most guys as is ‘how is her personality?’
Touche, Stephen…I am LMAO, if I dare use a acronym such as that in a blog post. Here are my thoughts on sex robots: It takes the human joy of sexuality out of sexual intercourse, and it is not a healthy form of sexual expression. Having sex with a simulation of a woman is not an ok substitute for having sex with someone you respect.
In my mind, sex robots like these are designed to make men treat women as bodies, and not as people with emotions, thoughts, and spirits.
By removing the actual woman from the whole experience, sex dolls are the realization of a society that too often ignores the person part of a woman, and only focuses on the sexual parts. Furthermore, it reinforces heteronormativity the only type of sex that happens is one man and one woman. This stigmatizes and marginalizes some forms of gender and sexuality.
The other issue that comes to mind is the sex with the robot itself. The robot just lies there, in a submissive position, and does nothing. Is this what we men actually want our women to do? I think not. The SF Chronicle has a great article about this if you want to read more…
I have nothing against men or women being sexual, and sex toys that help people masturbate or pleasure a partner are not wrong. Is a sex robot just a sex toy? Or is it a way for men to get all the “perks” of sexual intercourse without the messy ordeal of dealing with another person? I think it is something closer to the latter, and Colbert makes this point nicely in the above video.
The sex robot can download personalities, which is pretty weird. The idea is that men don’t just want to have sex, they want to talk to a person as well. Men can create a “dream personality” for their robot, and talk to them afterwards.
A note to all the guys out there: If you want to meet women and have satisfying, intimate, mature expieriences and relationships with them where you have great sex and also great communication, do not buy a sex doll that can pretend to talk to you. If you do own a sex robot (which will sell for $7,000 to $9,000, plus a monthly subscription,) DO NOT TALK ABOUT IT when you are meeting women. Please.
The story gets a little more complicated when the inventor says he made this sex doll because of a girl friend that died in the September 11th attacks. This seems pretty weird to me. I cannot even begin to grasp how hard it must be to lose a loved one in a terror attack, but is making a robot that acts like the person really the best way to get over it? Especially if the only thing you do with the robot is f** t? I don’t think it is.
What do you think? Is a sex robot sexist? Is this the future of “sexting” and porn?
Are we really shifting from real relationships to virtual ones with robots? I hope not, but I want to hear what others opinions are as well. –Dan J.
Note: Dan is a teen advocate for comprehensive sex education based in North Carolina, a blogger, music lover, and high school activist. Feel free to add him on Facebook and Twitter…He welcomes any and all comments on his posts
For anyone grousing that youth have succumbed to ‘digital demise’ are in another orbit or other stereotyped generalizations about the ‘avatar’ generation…I highly recommend you take a peek at the commentary on Dan’s original post too.
Plenty of down to earth human beings, no robots there…
Just inspiring minds, thoughtful content, and richness of issues being covered.
Now let’s Amplify them.